Summary: Purchased second hand. Manual focus. Crisp images. Pleasing background blurring at wider apertures. At narrow apertures, the 7 blades are readily apparent on blurred circular highlights. There might be some scratches on the glass. I'll need to shoot more at various apertures with bland background. With the close up shooting I've been doing, only once or twice have I seen something that looks suspicious.
Summary: My favorite lens is the buttery smooth 55 2.8 f.2.8. A bit short for hardcore macro work, but my Mamiya 120 f4 does the trick for that. The 55mm works when things are tight. Brings clarity in the fog of night, turns smiles into sunshine. Its crisp, clean, and just the right length for portraiture.
Summary: This lens is just fantastic. You can get it cheap, I got mine free as a hand-me-down. It is widely regarded as the sharpest lens nikon has ever made. Although I have not used nearly enough nikon lenses to validate this, I can say that it is ridiculously sharp. When it's stopped down to f/8 or so the depth of field is fairly wide and you aren't losing any sharpness to diffraction.
Excerpt: Currently using on DX format camera, it is a great learning tool for Macro photography. The resolution, sharpness and overall quality is outstanding. This is a classic Nikon lens, and I hope they never discontinue it.